Tohm Bakelas

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Artwork by Gene McCormick

I am a social worker

as his social worker
he said
he needed
me to assist him
in getting
gold teeth and
bifocals to have sex
with the cafeteria lady
and then proceeded
to make gestures and
simulate how
he would
have sex
with her

as his social worker
he said
I was of legal age
to be his
representative payee
and that I have
unrestricted access to his
trillion-billion dollars
and that because
I don’t get paid
very well
should I ever need some
extra money
I could have it

as his social worker
I told him
I was appreciative
of his generosity
but his money was
his money
and that i would
inform the medical doctor
about his request for
gold teeth and bifocals
but I encouraged him
to refrain from such behaviors
like having sex with
the cafeteria lady

together we came
to an understanding
we agreed and shook on it
he blessed me and then
we went our separate ways
when I got back to the ward
I saw it through
I informed the medical doctor
of my patient’s requests
and the medical doctor
asked what was
wrong with me
I reminded him
I am a social worker.


Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published numerous chapbooks in America and the UK, one full length collection of poems, and two micro-chapbooks